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Release year: 1995 | Players: 1-2 players | Developed by G-Craft / Square
Front Mission (SNES)
Front Mission (AKA フロントミッション Furonto Misshon in Japan) is a 2D tactical strategy RPG video game developed by G-Craft and published by Square for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) in 1995. This is the first part for the Front Mission series.
Front Mission revolves around Lloyd Clive, an OCU (Oceanea Community Union Army) captain tasked to investigate an USN (United States of the New Continent) munitions plant on Huffman Island in the year 2090. In the process, the USN wanzers led by Officer Driscoll ambushes your group and kills your fiancée. This then sparks a war between the two countries OCU and USN. To fully understand Front Mission’s entirety requires playing both the OCU and USN campaigns.
Front Mission’s core gameplay is manageable but requires for players to commit time to customize their walking battle tanks or Wanzers. Even getting the perfect team together before starting a mission can already take hours. It can get exhausting which sometimes turns off a few people before going very far with the game itself.
For those willing to trudge through this, they can spend time to customize their individual Wanzer from skill levels, weapon and armor choices, and even choose mecha paint coloring. Players will need to create a mix and match of different features to ensure the Wanzer mech’s greatest possible performance.
Although the customization gives players control on how their mecha performs it does not make the game user friendly and quite tricky to use. You’ll be required to make multiple changes on your mecha to fit the needs of a specific mission and if you end up with a group of 5 or more Wanzers, it can get kind of old very quickly.
Front Mission is also a linear game that a player’s path is predetermined with little to no opportunity for deviation. The only gameplay outside the overall story is in the arena mode where players can select from their group of Wanzers and battle it out against AI opponents to garner cash and experience.
Front Mission has good graphics comparable to other SNES games but not particularly special and not blow you away. The game takes place in a grid-based battlefield with various attack range levels. It comes with small but very detailed sprites. Graphical features are a combination of Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance.
Music is composed by Yoko Shimomura, the one behind Super Mario RPG soundtrack. The opening and action theme greatly reflects the intensity of the game.
Front Mission is a worthwhile purchase if you are into giant robots and strategy games. If you can get past the irksome mech customization needs, it is a wonderfully crafted product with good gameplay and storyline that would definitely keep you hooked.
Front Mission game has been ported to SNES / Super Famicom (this version), Sony PlayStation, WonderSwan Color, Nintendo DS.